Bainbridge Resident Sponsors PETA Billboard Showing Ringling’s Abuse of Baby Elephants

For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2011

David Perle 202-483-7382 

Bainbridge, Ga. — Like any loving mother, Gerda Chasen was devastated when her son Clifford died of injuries he sustained in an automobile accident on July 4, 1999. She realized that the only way to dig herself out of her crippling despair was to carry on his legacy—in Clifford’s case, his passionate devotion to fighting for animal rights. Gerda’s latest tribute to Clifford is a billboard that features a photo of Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey Circus handlers who tote bullhooks—sharp, heavy sticks that resemble fireplace pokers—and threaten a baby elephant who is tied down by all four legs. The billboard reads, “Tied Down, Beaten, and Electro-Shocked. Boycott Ringling Cruelty.” Gerda, who has gone vegetarian as a way to help animals and safeguard her health, adopted Bainbridge as her new home after marrying an American soldier in her native Germany and moving to the United States. The billboard is located 3 miles north of Bainbridge on Highway 27 at the Oxford Construction asphalt plant.

At the center of PETA’s “Ringling Beats Animals” campaign are photos taken inside Ringling’s Florida training center by a veteran elephant handler. The photos expose how Ringling trainers prematurely drag baby elephants away from their mothers, slam them to the ground, gouge them with steel-tipped bullhooks, and shock them with electric prods.

Ringling’s fear-based training methods have contributed to the deaths of at least two baby elephants: One fled his bullhook-wielding trainer and drowned in a pond, and the other broke both hind legs after falling from a training pedestal and had to be euthanized. Many other elephants used by Ringling have also died prematurely.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website

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Article source: PETA Action Alerts

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